PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Ceremonies in Washington DC, New York City and Shanksville commemorate the events of 9-11, but the Coast Guard wanted to give the people of Pittsburgh an opportunity to reflect some twelve-years later.
Commander Lindsay Weaver, United States Coast Guard “It is such an honor for us to be able to do this on 9-11 because ever since 9-11 we have devoted so much to Homeland Security, and so that is one of our core missions.”
Wednesday morning just before 10 AM, members of the United States Coast Guard display 40 flags at Point State Park in downtown Pittsburgh. Each flag marks a life lost on Flight 93 that crashed at Shanksville as powerful music filled the air around the fountain.
Dave Morgan is a bag-pipe player in the United States Coast Guard Pipe Band. He performed “Amazing Grace” on his pipes to close the flag laying ceremony. “It changed every body’s lives and there’s a lot of people who saw the importance of it and went and gave their lives. ”
Chief Petty Officer Chris Blank says the ceremony in Pittsburgh is an expansion of efforts that stared in Washington D.C. a few years ago.
“Five or six years ago, we expanded the 14th Street bridge in DC to honor the people lost on 9-11 at the Pentagon. This year we decided to expand that to western Pennsylvania because there was a tragedy here as well and we wanted to honor the folks lost at Shanksville.”
Max Gonano is a retired music professor from California University of Pennsylvania. He now is a member of Bugles Across America. He was honored to play Taps at the end of the service for the fallen. “I always tell people I can’t guarantee I’m not going to miss a note, but I can guarantee you it is going to be the best shot I can do.
The Coast Guard is proud to bring that message to the heart of our three rivers. “We wanted to make it very special,” says Weaver. “We wanted to tell Pittsburgh that we do not forget the lives that were lost in Flight 93.”